Culture Minister Owen Bonnici has been at the receiving end of a social media public drubbing with Carnival enthusiasts taking the minister to task over Monday’s announcement of a €1.2 million investment in 20 tractors for Carnival when ground has hardly been broken on the Carnival Village he promised back in 2015.
Following the minister’s highly publicised investment in 20 tractors for use in the next Carnival, which is coming up in three weeks, Bonnici was reminded of his 2015 promise to build “a state-of-the-art” Carnival Village in Marsa – a project that is still to materialise.
Eight years down the line, the village is still a work in progress and the excavation phase of the €6 million EU-funded project has not even been completed.
Dubbing the minister’s latest announcement “another PR stunt” in the lead-up to Carnival 2023, hundreds of people have been asking the minster to explain what happened to the project, which was meant to have been up and running by 2018.
Others who are less enthusiastic about the Carnival criticised the minister for spending €1.2 million on tractors that will be used for just two weeks during Carnival, when such funds could have been put to better use like in areas such as education or health, where the government is seen to be restricting spending.
Bonnici, who seems to never be too far from controversy, also received backlash from the farming community, with many in the sector commenting that they are playing second fiddle to the Carnival.
Carnival enthusiasts have been pleading for years for better facilities to work on their carnival floats.
After years of discussion, the Planning Authority issued a permit in 2012 for new Carnival warehouses to be built in Corradino.
Following Labour’s 2013 election to power, Bonnici promised a “new concept” in the form of a Carnival village in Marsa that would be set up with EU funds.
But despite yearly promises, including in 2017 when Bonnici announced that “the carnival village dream was only one step away”, the facility is still nowhere to be seen.
Making matters worse still, the €6 million in EU funding dedicated to the project stands to be lost since ground has hardly been broken the project.
Back in 2013 Bonnici put singer William Mangion on the project. Mangion had also been tasked with identifying a place for musicians to rehearse but, a decade later, neither plan has come anywhere near fruition and Mangion is still on the government’s payroll.
And what will Noddy do with the tractors after the carnival,donate them to farmer Chloe and the sheep farmer just outside Mgarr with an Olympic size swimming pool,oh sorry I meant sheep dip?
Jaqq xi dwejjaq ta’ nies xeba xeni u pożi u ma jsir xejn. Imma kif ma jisthix jittratta lid-dilettanti b’dan il-mod? Jaqq jitmejjel bihom f’wicchom.
Taw xi kuntratt tat tractors ha jpaxxu xi benefattur
so farmers are not given the tools they need and carnival enthusiasts given tractors instead of a place where to work!
Can anyone understand how this country works????